The international conference “Maqdala at 150” will take place during four days, from April 10 to April 13, 2018, in parallel to the historical events that led to the fall of Maqdala and the death of Tewodros II. The conference will be organized at the premises of Gondar University, Debre Tabor University and Amba Maqdala University. Additionally seven other Amhara universities will actively participate in its preparation, funding and running: Bahir Dar University, Debre Birhan University, Injibara University, Debarq University, Debre Markos University, Wello University and Weldiya University.
While the main focus of the conference is an historical episode, the academic profile of the participants shall include historians as well as experts in folklore studies, literature, archaeology, anthropology, philology and political sciences and also intellectuals and heritage professionals.
The topics of the conference will be related to the life and times of Tewodros II, his vision for Ethiopia and the African continent, the political and cultural history of Ethiopia in those times i.e the relations of Ethiopia with foreign powers during the modern era, to the places where Tewodros lived and exerted his power and to the legacy of Tewodros and his time in modern and contemporary Ethiopian and African societies. Some of the issues, but by far not the only ones, the attendees may want to ponder are:
The way the figure of Tewodros II has been interpreted, portrayed, and imagined in Ethiopia and beyond
The state of the historiography on Tewodros II and his time today
The contribution of Tewodros II and his time for the present society
The fate of the Maqdala treasures until the present day and the role they play in the contemporary plea of non-western nations for the return of their national heritages
The cultural, artistic and intellectual developments that characterized Ethiopia under Tewodros II
The conference will be held mostly in English and focus on the discussion of pre-circulated papers of about 5,000 to 7,000 words. A limited number of grants covering cost of travel and accommodation of some African participants is expected to be approved by the project sponsors.